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Re: Tyrannosaurus tail torque
On 11/19/2010 12:33 AM, David Krentz wrote:
On Nov 18, 2010, at 6:07 PM, Jonas Weselake-George wrote:
Finally, we tend to imagine these animals moving on treadmills or
mud-flats. Many types of terrains may have had slopes, unpredictable
height variations (eg. throw mounds), as well as varied obstacles and
The strains and challenges for mobility, navigation and recovery in
such environments, along with unusually extended or compressed leg
postures may be much greater than we imagine.
We filmed some backplate in Redwood Forests in Northern CA for our T.rex episode on
Reign of the Dinosaurs. Making the assumption that the terrain in some T.rex
environments may have been the same given the presence on Metasequoia and Laurel forests
we've been having a heck of a time finding a "nice clear path" for the rexes to
walk/run, even in the most well-groomed forests. Given the fact that no one was cleaning
up millions of years of massive deadfall T.rex must have had to do some fancy footwork,
as well as ducking and crouching while ambulating through the forests at least some of
the time. Standing on slopes or even walking on them would require some constant
shifting of weight and balance.
Natural environments would have extended out of the hills and all the
way to the beach, and included some factors helpful to locomotion --
frequent fires, removing much deadfall, and the action of very large
herbivores, which tend to create areas suitable for parking and trails
good enough to drive on.
That said, I would be surprised if the largest theropods spent much time
in either swamps or areas with much in way of slopes when given a
choice. At some point in the 'easy walking' to 'absolutely impassable'
spectrum, rough terrain would logically have provided quadrupedal prey
welcome refuge in some areas.